Starmer: There has to be a ‘safe and secure Israel’ for Labour to recognise Palestine

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Starmer: There has to be a ‘safe and secure Israel’ for Labour to recognise Palestine

Speaking to Jewish News the Labour leader clarified his party's manifesto commitment to recognise a Palestinian state 'as part of a process'

Keir Starmer has moved to clarify Labour’s position on recognition of a Palestinian state after reports claimed his party’s manifesto would call for this to happen before any peace talks with Israel were concluded.

Speaking to Jewish News as he visited the Brent Cross Town housing development in north London, the Labour leader ruled out this happened while Hamas retained any control in Gaza saying:”There has to be a safe and secure Israel.”

Asked to clarify Labour’s position, following a report in the Guardian which suggested Starmer was ready to make significant concessions to pro-Palestine voices on the left, Starmer said :”It’s very important that I set out what our policy is full is, which is to recognise Palestine as part of the process for a two state solution. But part of a process. 

“That means it has got to be at the right time in the process, because we need a viable Palestinian state alongside a safe and secure Israel.

“We don’t have either of those at the moment, and therefore it has got to be at the point of the process where we could see both of those outcomes.”

But he added:”It is important for me to say that recognising Palestine, a Palestinian state, is not in the gift of Israel or anyone else. It is a right. 

“But it has to be in process so that both things happen. ”

Angela Rayner and Keir Starmer chat with new home owner

Asked again if this process could happen while Hamas remained in some control of Gaza, Starmer again stressed:”There has to be a safe and secure Israel.”

He also stressed the manifesto, published next week, would reflect a “long-standing” Labour position in support for a two-state solution. 

Starmer visited the impressive housing development with deputy leader Angela Rayner, and Finchley and Golders Green Labour parliamentary candidate Sarah Sackman.

Sackman later said:”“This morning, I welcomed Keir to the Brent Cross development.

“I am glad that he clarified that Labour will not recognise a Palestinian state while Hamas remains in control of Gaza, and that Israel must be safe and secure before such a recognition can take place.

” A future Labour Government would only consider recognition as part of a renewed international peace process.”

Keir Starmer with Sarah Sackman at Brent Cross Town

Asked by journalists for his reaction to Rishi Sunak’s decision to leave the D-Day commemoration event in Normandy prematurely he said the prime minister  “will have to answer for his own actions.”

“For me, there was nowhere else I was going to be,” Starmer said, who added meeting with veterans was an emotional experience for him.

Earlier Rayner, sporting patriotic union jack socks, and Starmer spoke with a new home owner at the development, which has been praised by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who also attended Friday’s campaign event.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: